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Mary Roach is the author of seven nonfiction books, including her latest, Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law. "In these realms of the taboo, there's a tremendous amount of material that is really interesting, but that people have stayed away from. ... I'm kind of a bottom feeder. It's down there on the bottom where people don't want to go. But if tha…
 
E. Alex Jung is a senior writer for Vulture and New York. ”When I'm in that space, I try to be a sponge. I'll just absorb whatever's happening or going on, and I'll be down to do mostly anything. I was actually thinking recently about what my limits would be in a profile. I was like—heroin? I don't think I would do that.” Show notes: @e_alexjung Ju…
 
Max Chafkin is a features editor and reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek. His new book is The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power. “I think there's like a really good way to come up with story ideas where you basically just look for people who have given TED Talks and figure out what they're lying about. And there's also a…
 
Hannah Giorgis is a staff writer at The Atlantic. Her latest feature is "Most Hollywood Writers’ Rooms Look Nothing Like America.” ”In general, when we talk about representation, we talk about what we see on our screens. We're talking about actors, we're talking about who are the lead characters, what are the storylines that they're getting. And I'…
 
Sarah A. Topol is a writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine. Her latest feature is ”Is Taiwan Next?” ”I think you never actually ask people head-on about what they've been through. You always ask people to just tell you what they want to tell you about anything that has happened to them…. This event that happened to you, it doesn't define y…
 
Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker. ”There’s nothing more important about a person than their story. In a way, that’s who we are. And yet, memories fade and people die. So those stories disappear and the job of the journalist is to go out before that happens and accumulate the kinds of stor…
 
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are documentary filmmakers. Their latest miniseries is Allen v. Farrow. ”We're constantly looking for those moments that happen before the story is ever told. Or those moments where someone is deciding to tell a story or is going through a process that they think is private… We think there's something about getting the mo…
 
Roger Bennett is a co-host of Men In Blazers and the author of (Re)born in the USA: An Englishman's Love Letter to His Chosen Home. “So much of my work is about human tenacity. That value of perseverance, of driving onwards. I believe life is about darkness and happiness. I believe that nothing is given, you fight for everything. And how you operat…
 
Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang are reporters for the New York Times. They are coauthors of An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination. “There are two types of reporters. There are reporters who date and reporters who marry. I think both Cecilia and I are reporters who marry our sources and by that I mean they are lifelong sources. It’s…
 
Julie K. Brown is an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald. Her new book is Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story. “No reporter wants to be a part of the story. ... But the one thing I know is that the authorities weren't going to do anything about this unless it stayed in the news and there was pressure. And I thought the only way…
 
Doree Shafrir is a co-host of the podcast Forever35, the former executive editor of Buzzfeed, and the author of the new memoir Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (& Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer.”Right now I can make my living from podcasting, but I don’t know what the advertising market for podcasts is going to look like in five years or even one ye…
 
Jessica Bruder is a journalist and author of the book Nomadland.“I don’t do a hard sell. I’ll tell people what my MO is, but I don’t push people to talk with me. I want to go deep with people. I want to be able to have the time to just sit with them and to say, ‘start at the beginning.’ Sometimes going chronologically will just take you to these pl…
 
Robert McKee is an author and screenwriting lecturer. His new book is Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen.”When I'm in conversation with others, I'm always aware—or sensitive, at least—to what they're really thinking and feeling. And writers must have that. They can't possibly create excellent nonfiction or fictio…
 
Ashley C. Ford is the author of Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir.“For the first time I felt like I had so many more choices in my life than I originally thought I had. That was my first realization that I did not just have to react to the world, that I could be intentional in the world, and just curious about what came back to me.”Thanks to Mailchimp …
 
Aaron Lammer is a co-host of the Longform Podcast and the host of the podcast Exit Scam: The Death and Afterlife of Gerald Cotten.“Something I got from a number of reporters that I’ve interviewed on the Longform Podcast is letting the story guide you, and ultimately that led me to an ambiguous ending. Early on, I was like, the pinnacle achievement …
 
Megha Rajagopalan is a senior correspondent for Buzzfeed News. She won a Pulitzer for her coverage of the Xinjiang detention camps.“It’s not so much that I talk to [the Chinese government] to get information. It’s more that I talk to them to see how they think about things and what’s important to them and what’s their view of the world. … There are…
 
Barrett Swanson is a contributing editor at Harper’s and the author of Lost in Summerland.“You just have to sit there for a long time. That lesson was indisputably crucial for me. Just being willing to talk to someone, even if the first half-hour or hour is unutterably boring, or it doesn’t seem pertinent. These little things, the deeper things, ta…
 
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